which he had been travelling, and hid himself in the woods.
Twice during the course of the morning he heard trains
whistle, and, looking down, saw them drawing easily down
across the valley, flecking the air only with a little steam and
In the evening he came down, and began to walk eastward
along the tracks.
The house stood back from a rutty dirt road. He knew it
was the place, because leaning over close to the mailbox he
had been able to make out the name, " Edmund Tolliver." It
was a new mailbox. The metal was clean and slick to the
touch of his fingers, and the black lettering distinct upon it.
A stone wall separated the yard from the road, where a fringe
of leafy brush ran. The gate was gone, and stones had fallen
from the wall beside a broken post. There were no trees in
the yard, but the black bulk of woods showed on the rise
beyond the house.
At first he thought the house was deserted; then, upon
nearer approach, he saw that a very dim light showed around
a curtain at one window, or a cloth which had been hung
there. His knees tense and crooking beneath him, he stepped
upon the loose boards of the porch floor, and laid his hand
to the latch. The door gave easily, with only a slight sound.
At the instant of his entering, he made out, by the unsure
light of the turned-down lamp, the figure on the bed, covered
only by a sheet, the face averted. He closed the door behind
him, as with the scrupulous care of someone entering a sick-
room. He stood there watching, leaning forward a little,
solicitously; and very slowly, almost weakly, while he stood
there, the figure moved on the bed and the face turned toward
him. He saw the eyes, faintly shining in the light, widen?
and saw the lips twitch, preparatory to speech.
"What do you want?" the man op. the bed said.
Not answering, he took two long, bent-kneed strides toward
the bed. He laid his left hand gn the footboard, and inclined
his body a little forward, staring.
"What do you want here?" the man on the bed said.